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Newsletter in honour of the Feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys!

St. Jean Baptiste High School

Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. We are incredibly fortunate to have eight Sisters of the CND here at St. Jean's. In various and important capacities, our Sisters energetically lead our SJB High School community, steer our students toward great academic achievement, manage building operations and keep us true to our mission of "educating young women of diverse strengths and backgrounds while developing women of faith, service, leadership and empowering our young women to participate actively in the transformation of society for a more just world." I invite you to meet our Sisters and learn how they were called to serve and how they have dedicated their lives to education.


Laura Gutierrez Campbell

Director of Institutional Advancement

Sr. Alla Anne Boyle, CND 

Director of Sponsored Students & Tuition Assistance

I was born in Bayonne, New Jersey and lived there with my parents and older brother  until I joined the CNDs at the age of 21. I had met the CNDs at Notre Dame College from which I graduated with a BA in English. Although I had an active social life, I felt a strong call by God to become a sister. Praying to St. Marguerite Bourgeoys brought me both peace and clarity. The CNDs had a prayer life that attracted me in addition to emphasizing becoming qualified educators. I have Masters Degrees in Counseling from The College of Staten Island and in Religious Studies from Fordham University. I also studied music for several years.

Throughout my religious life I have worked mostly in the metropolitan New York area. I spent many years teaching English or music or religion at Notre Dame Academy. I taught all students from Kindergarten through grade 12. I was also a Guidance Counselor in the high school for ten years and Assistant Principal for four years. In the latter 1980's I was named Director of Formation for the CND sisters, responsible for training those women who were trying to determine if God was calling them to religious life. Formation work required traveling to Montreal and other places for meetings and getting to know the Sisters who were doing similar work in Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Japan. I learned a lot about the cultures of each group and also about what united us as Sisters and CNDs. In 1989 I began a brand new ministry in Brooklyn at the parish of Queen of All Saints. It was a multicultural, multiracial parish. I was hired to be the Spiritual-Liturgical Coordinator. During the ten years I spent there, I developed deep bonds with the parishioners. I organized retreats for senior citizens, taught Bible classes, and coordinated service projects for teens and young adults. We established a support group for new parents with volunteer babysitters. I worked with the parish musician and introduced multicultural music which became a big hit with parishioners. Because of our proximity to Pratt Institute, we had several artists in the parish who helped prepare the church for different Liturgical Seasons. After taking a year Sabbatical, I moved to NYC in September, 2000 and began working at SJB and have been here ever since. I love every aspect of being part of the SJB Community.

In my free time, I love to walk in Central Park, listen to music and attend concerts (classical music). I am a huge sports fan: Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Rangers. When I was growing up, I played softball and basketball - but not at a varsity level. I also love to spend time with my family and friends. I enjoy reading, photography and other fine arts and going to museums. I love the beach - it is my favorite get-away - either New Jersey or Rhode Island. Maybe that is why seafood is my favorite kind of food, but I also enjoy vegetables and fruits and desserts of all kinds.

Sr. Simone Camire, CND

Finance & Business Office Volunteer

St. Jean Baptiste holds a very special place in my life as I was born and raised on East 76th and 78th Streets. I was baptized, made my First Communion and Confirmation in this beautiful Church.  Also, my elementary school years as well as my high school years were spent here at St. Jean Baptiste.

When I was in my late teens I began to seriously consider religious life.  After graduation, I worked for four years and then entered with the Congregation of Notre Dame (CND) Sisters who were my teachers here at SJB. In 2016, I will celebrate 60 years as a Sister in the Congregation de Notre Dame.

Over the years I have served in CND schools on the East coast as elementary and high school teacher. I taught high school business education classes and then 12 wonderful years working with women on unemployment who were enrolled in a business office technology program in Massachusetts. For 7 years I served as administrative assistant to our CND Leadership team in Ridgefield, CT and 11 years for the Vicar for Religious in the diocese of Providence, RI.

My favorite foods include shrimp and salmon and of course delicious desserts like tiramisu and cherry ice cream.  I enjoy leisure activities such as reading, crocheting, classical music, visiting museums and attending concerts.  I have been blessed with many opportunities to travel abroad, especially to Troyes, France, the birthplace of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. My favorite quote from Marguerite's writings is "It is true that all I have ever desired most deeply and what I still most ardently wish is that the great precept of the love of God above all things and of the neighbor as oneself be written in every heart."

Sr. Mary Caplice, CND 

Assistant Principal

I was born and raised in New York City and I entered the Congregation of Notre Dame (CND) after graduating from St. Jean Baptiste High School.  I had always wanted to be a religious. I chose the CND because I was impressed by the CNDs who taught me and by the way I saw them get along with each other. 

My many assignments have included: teaching Grade 3 and 7 at Notre Dame Academy, Waterbury; teaching at Waterbury Catholic High School; teaching at Notre Dame Academy, Staten Island and being the Chair of Social Studies Department; teaching at Notre Dame Academy, Ridgefield; teaching at Stamford Catholic High School, Stamford, CT and also being the Chair of Social Studies Department; Associate to the Provincial Leader, Ridgefield, CT; a sabbatical year of study of Sacred Scripture in Greece, Israel, Turkey, Chicago; Principal of Little Flower School in Pensacola, Florida; Superintendent of Schools in Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida; Provincial leader of Blessed Sacrament Province of CND; and currently the Assistant Principal of St. Jean Baptiste High School.

In my free time I enjoy reading.  It is difficult to identify one favorite food.  Macaroni and cheese is a definite favorite among many others.  Israel was my favorite travel spot.  For the three months I was there I had two hours of class a day and spent the rest of the time visiting the sites we studied about in scripture. 

It is difficult to choose a teaching or saying of Marguerite that means the most to me.  So much depends on circumstances or the situation of the moment.  St. Marguerite spoke about prayer, community, mission and the vows.  I have favorites in all these areas.  Here at school I am most conscious of St. Marguerite's saying that "Teaching is the work most suited to draw down the graces of God if it is done with purity of intention."

Sr. Maria Cassano, CND 


I grew up in the Bronx and attended Villa Maria Academy for 12 years.  My CND teachers had a significant impact not only on my education but on my life. Their example of warmth, support, encouragement and excellent teaching drew me to recognize that God was inviting me to become one of them. The CNDs who were my teachers were totally committed to following in the steps of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys who believed strongly in the need to educate the young girls and young women of the community of New France.

After my graduation, I attended Marymount Manhattan College for one year and then traveled to Bourbonnais, Illinois, to enter the CND novitiate which after one year was relocated to Ridgefield, Connecticut. Since we were being prepared to be teachers, I moved to Staten Island and attended Notre Dame College where I received my BA degree with a major in English and a minor in music.

My teaching career began at Notre Dame High School, an all-girls school, in Schenectady, NY. I learned to play the guitar to keep up with my students who were very accomplished! I taught music classes, and directed choral groups. During the summers I studied at Teachers College, Columbia University, to earn my MA in Music Education. After six years away from NYC, I was assigned to Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island where I spent the next 25 years. During those years I taught music appreciation classes,   and choral music grades K through 12. I also learned to play the recorder so I could teach my students. Eventually I became involved in the administration of the high school. I received my Professional Diploma from Southern Connecticut University and was appointed principal, and after eleven years, was appointed president. At the end of my term, I enjoyed a year of sabbatical in Washington, DC. I returned to New York and for three years was assistant principal of St. Jean's. Then I had the opportunity to minister in a non-CND school, St. Catharine's Academy in the Bronx. I was back in the neighborhood as an assistant principal at what had been a Villa Maria Academy rival school in my youth!

I am completing my eighth year at St. Jean's and I like living in Manhattan. I enjoy the opportunity to visit museums, go to concerts, walk through different neighborhoods, experience the amazing diversity of the city and its people. I enjoy reading, eating Italian food, watching TV and spending summer vacations at our CND beach house in Rhode Island. My wish list of travel spots includes driving across the USA and travelling through Europe.  

Sr. Rosemary Cianciolo, CND

Consultant & Tutor


I was born in Waterbury, CT and attended Waterbury Catholic High School where I met the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.  

I attended College for two years and then entered the novitiate of the Congregation of Notre Dame. As a student I had been aware that the sisters genuinely liked each other and their students and enjoyed life.  Christ seemed to be at the center of their lives.  That was my only reason for entering. When asked why I entered, my reasons are always the same.  I had only one life. How could I use it to make a difference?  I felt upset with so much that seemed wrong in our world and with all that people had to suffer.  I also felt drawn to the person of Jesus Christ. I sensed that religious life would enable me to be closer to Him. I have found in these years much more given to me than I would have foreseen.

My years in the CND were divided between teaching and administration and I liked both mainly because I like people. I have been on mission in the following places:

New Haven, CT, Waterbury, CT, Stamford, CT, Staten Island, NY, Ridgefield, CT, Pensacola, FL, Montreal, Canada and St. Jean's, NY.

Sr. Joann Compagno, CND

Tutor & Volunteer

I am a Jeanite, a New Yorker from the Bronx and Manhattan, and glad to be back at my alma mater. While at St. Jean Baptiste High School, I became involved with many after-school service projects especially with the elderly and also in my parish church. The CNDs at St. Jeans, a dynamic group of young Sisters, really encouraged the seed of my call and I entered my community after high school and recently celebrated 50 years as a CND Sister.

Over the years I have taught elementary and high school students as well as working with adults in faith formation and parish programs. I was privileged to spend four years with the CNDs in Canada. In Montreal I served at the St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum and the Church of Notre Dame de Bon Secours both in the heart of old Montreal where St. Marguerite lived in the 1600s. Most recently I retired from Lourdes Health Care Center after nine years as Pastoral Minister and Leader for our elderly and infirm Sisters. Currently, I serve at St. Jeans as a tutor and assistant to any of the staff who need a helping hand.

I enjoy reading, walking, food shopping and cooking and I love to dance. Pope Francis inspires me and I have a Pope app on my tablet to keep up with this dynamic witness of God's love and mercy in our world today. I have many favorite foods but chicken salad and eggplant parm would be high on my list. I also enjoy relaxing near any body of moving water.

St. Marguerite inspires me to give myself anew each day through this quote:

"Can we not take our birth (I think she means our spiritual birth) from that time God inspires us to give ourselves to Him knowingly and of our own free will." Also following her call to be "daughters of the parish" I feel right at home in the church here at St. Jeans and hope to become more involved in the coming years. 

 Sr. Eileen Good, CND

Finance & Business Office Manager

I was born and raised in the Bronx.  I entered the Congregation of Notre Dame (CND) after graduating from Notre Dame College on Staten Island (now of St. John's University).  I then received my Masters in Administration from the University of Notre Dame.  

As my teachers, the Sisters of the CND were a real inspiration to me in their life and purpose.  Also, there is that mystery of God's inner call and my eventual realization that there was Marguerite Bourgeoys' call, believing that I could live out and spread the charism for which she founded the community.  St. Marguerite's encouragement to the first women who followed her have always been an inspiration to me - "Be little, humble and poor."

My life in the CND has been so blessed with a variety of ministries.  As a young sister I began my ministry as a middle school and a high school math teacher.  After several years I launched out into social service work, first as a teacher of English as a Second Language and GED for individuals in the welfare system.  This was followed by many years as a case manager for the chronically mentally ill.  I eventually moved into financial work for which I had been previously prepared. During my many years as a CND I was privileged to have several short-term missionary experiences.  For one year I ministered with the Lakota Sioux in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  I spent a little more than a year working with our Sisters in Central America and then in Cameroon.  

I have always enjoyed singing with choral groups and reading mysteries.  Currently, I volunteer at a women's shelter and also at a Safe House for trafficked women.  This is my third time ministering at St. Jean's.  The quality of students, faculty and staff keep drawing me back!

Sr. Alyn Larson, CND

Advancement  & Administrative Volunteer

I was born and raised on Staten Island and entered the Congregation of Notre Dame in 1959 after attending Notre Dame Academy for high school and Notre Dame College for a year.  I was impressed with the religious spirit and camaraderie of my CND teachers.

My placements have included: Notre Dame Academy in Waterbury , CT - teaching 5th Grade and High School  (1 year); teaching mainly Social Studies and some Latin at the following schools: Notre Dame Academy - Waterbury, CT, Bishop McNamara High School - Kankakee, IL, Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame, Bishop Gibbons High School - Schenectady, NY; Notre Dame Academy - Staten Island, NY; community service, working with Sisters who were retired or in the infirmary in Ridgefield, CT; and as the Registrar and Guidance Associate for Mother Cabrini High School.

I enjoy reading - mainly history, mystery and biographies.  I also follow sports events, particularly baseball.  My favorite food is fish and chips.  My favorite travel spot is Rome, where I was privileged to go when organizing and chaperoning student groups in several high schools. 

St. Marguerite had many sayings, but the one that has made the greatest impression on me reads:  "all that I have ever desired and what I still most ardently wish is that the great precept of the love of God above all things and of the neighbor as oneself be written in every heart."


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